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    Category: At The Checkout

    The customer has seemed normal and maybe even intelligent throughout the shopping purchase. But then they get to the checkout and as soon as human interaction is required it all falls apart. The checkout operators really are our first line of defense against the stupid customer!

    Going Bananas Over The Bread

    | WI, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Crazy Requests

    (I’m at the self-checkout, and I can hear a woman yelling about her own self-checkout order to the cashier.)

    Customer: “I can’t believe you would just let someone bag their own groceries! How was I supposed to know bananas would flatten my bread? I want a new loaf of bread, and I want it free!”

    Supervisor: “Ma’am, we can’t just give you free groceries for your own errors. As we told you last week, putting heavy things on top of light things will cause problems. We’ve suggested you take your items to a cashier to be bagged properly, and—”

    Customer: “I don’t care what you said last week! There is no sign here telling me the bananas will squish my bread! I want it free!”

    Supervisor: “No. I told you, you can’t get any more free groceries.”

    (At this point, I decide to intervene.)

    Me: “Ma’am, can I help you with something? Do you need money?”

    Customer: “What the h*** do you mean by that? Do you even work here?”

    Me: “No, ma’am, I don’t work here. I just thought given the fuss you were making over a two dollar loaf of bread, you probably needed the money. Let me write you a check; how much do you need?”

    Customer: “I don’t need anything! It’s the principle of the thing!”

    Me: “And what principle is that?”

    Customer: “Well… I… These people need to learn their place!”

    Me:“They make minimum wage, and I’m sure many of them have second jobs. I’m sure many of them know ‘their place’ in YOUR version of society. So you mean to tell me you’re just being mean to make others feel inferior?”

    Customer: “Well… I…”

    Me: “In that case, I’ll buy you a free loaf of bread just to get these poor employees some peace!”

    Customer: “Well, I never met someone so rude!” *storms out of the store with her squished bread*

    Three-dom Isn’t Free

    | TX, USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Math & Science

    (I’m a cashier at the local supercenter and I’m working the afternoon shift. We have impulse candy racks at the end of each register that come in both normal and king-sized packages. Under the price tags is a strip that reads “all king-sized candy bars three for $3.” A customer approaches my register.)

    Customer: “The candy is three for $3 dollars, yes?”

    Me: “Yes, sir. The king-sized candy bars are all three for $3.”

    (The customer grabs a few of the candy bars from the candy rack and sets them down on the conveyor belt with the rest of his items. I check them all out like normal and I notice that he had purchased two candy bars for $0.68 and one king-sized candy bar for $1. The customer gives me a strange, irritated look as I hit the total button on my keyboard.)

    Customer: “The candy was three for $3. You said it was three for $3.”

    Me: “Yes, sir, the king-sized candy bars are all 3 for $3. You bought two candy bars that cost $0.68 and one king-sized candy bar for $1.00.”

    Customer: “But your sign says three for $3! Why is it not $3 for these candy bars!?”

    Me: “Because, sir, the candy bars that you purchased amount to less than $3.00.”

    (The customer went silent for a moment, though his irritated expression never left his face. He paid for his merchandise without another word and left. I stood there for a few moments trying to figure out what kind of math he was using.)

    High On The Milk Of Human Kindness

    | ME, USA | At The Checkout, Awesome Customers, Food & Drink

    (I work at a small independent grocery store. I’m helping an older woman check out. The transaction goes smoothly until she gets a look of sudden realization.)

    Customer: “Oh! What do I do about unpaid milk quarts?”

    Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am?”

    Customer: “I was here the other day and I had two milk quarts but I didn’t get them.”

    Me: “You didn’t get them? Would you like to get them now? Or did you mean you accidentally left them behind?”

    Customer: “Oh, no, no. I… oh. dear. I didn’t see them in my cart and I’d forgotten I grabbed them, so I left without paying for them. I didn’t even think about it until I got home and checked my receipt.”

    Me: “Oh! Oh, I understand. Well, I could go grab a quart and ring it in with this order?”

    Customer: “Okay!”

    (I ask her what brand and kind of milk she got, then go fetch it and add two to her order.)

    Customer: “I’m sorry about that. I didn’t mean to not pay for them.”

    Me: “Oh gosh. No, don’t be sorry! Thank you for your honesty. Most people would have just been like ‘sweet, free milk’ when they realized what had happened.”

    Customer: “Well, I just couldn’t live with doing that! Your selection might not be as big as [Chain Competitor]‘s, but I’ve been shopping here since the current owner’s father was running the place. Everyone is always so helpful. I just couldn’t do something so unethical and mean!”

    (It’s not a glamorous job, but customers like her make me glad I’m working for a business like that!)

    Related:
    Low On The Milk Of Human Kindness

    A Cancer Of Society

    | Knoxville, TN, USA | At The Checkout, Bad Behavior, Health & Body

    (Our store is selling stuffed toys to give to children undergoing cancer treatment. I’m on register checking out a couple.)

    Me: “Would you like to purchase one of the toys and donate it to a child?”

    (The customer reaches for one of the toys and I think I’ve made a sale. But then she puts the toy back on the counter and says:)

    Customer: “My hunch is that kids who have cancer get enough of these.”

    Rage Against The Machine, Part 3

    | USA | At The Checkout, Extra Stupid, Technology

    (I have finished ringing up a customer’s purchase when he is paying with a debit card at the card reader. My computer tells me the customer clicked the ‘cancel’ button on the machine.)

    Me: “Sir, please re-slide your card and press the green button for credit.”

    Customer: *to his wife* “They should make these things all work the same way.”

    Customer’s Wife: “Honey, it says right there to press the green button for credit.”

    Customer: “I shouldn’t be expected to read that.”

    Related:
    Rage Against The Machine, Part 2
    Rage Against The Machine

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